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Country pavilions prove a hit

Etisalat is increasing the level of network services it provides to business customers after expanding its partnership with Orange Business Services.

The country pavilions have proved to be a huge success story at this year’s GITEX and again underlined the true scope of the global ICT marketplace.

The UK had one of the largest pavilions again with more than 30 exhibitors out in force at GITEX. UK exports to Dubai more than doubled to US$8.41 billion in 2005, while exports to the UAE rose by similar levels to US$9.86 billion.

“We will be working harder than ever in 2006 to encourage more British companies — especially SMBs — to come to Dubai and invest,” promised British Consul General, John Hawkins.

Stand-out UK exhibitors this year have included Promethean, which is showcasing its range of interactive ‘Activ classroom’ products, and Accu-Tech Systems, which manufactures data collection terminals for workforce management.

The Australian contingent is also well-represented with 23 firms making the trip to Dubai. Ross March, director at Export Solutions, which delivers business matching services at trade fairs, claims first-time participants have been impressed by how advanced the Middle East market is.

“They didn’t realise how vibrant, dynamic, intelligent and sophisticated it would be and they are surprised at the number of business opportunities here,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Egyptian and Iranian pavilions have proved popular stopping points for visitors to hall 8. “This is our fourth time at GITEX and it is the busiest show yet,” said Fereshteh Farajzadeh, international affairs manager at Iranian IT association Sanaray. “We are here to show the capabilities of Iranian companies and the valuable services that they can provide,” she added.

At the Egyptian pavilion, the government-formed Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA), which has subsidised the attendance of 40 local companies at the show, is already turning its attention to GITEX 2007.

“The Egyptian government is heavily supporting ICT companies and next year we hope to have more companies exhibiting,” said Maher Abousteit, financial and administration manager at the ITIDA.

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